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Full text of "The Federal Music Project, Nikolai Sokoloff, director"

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in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/federalmusicprojOOunit_0 



1 



FEDERAL MUSIC PROJECT 

DR. NIKOLAI SOKOLOFF DIRECTOR 




ELLEN S. WOODWARD • ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR 




WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION 
HARRY L. HOPKINS, ADMINISTRATOR 



I 



This report was designed and put into type 
by project wrkers, and published by the 
offset process on equipment presented to the 
Federal Music Project by the American Council 
on Education. 



Federal Music Project 

DR. NIKOLAI SOKOLOFF, Director 



ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 



Mr. William C. Mayfarth 

Mrs. Ruth Ha Her Ottaway 

Miss Alma Sandra Munsell 

Mrs. Dorothy Redlcker Fredenhagen 



1500 I Street 
1500 I Street 
1500 I Street 
1500 I Street 



Washington, D.C. 

Washington, D.C. 

Washington, D.C. 

Washington, D.C. 



Dr. Bruno David Ussher 
Assistant to the Director 



Mr. Lee Pattison 
Assistant to the Director 



Dr. Thaddeus Rich 
Assistant to the Director 



Mr. G-uy Maier 

Assistant to the Director 



REGIONAL STAFF 

hkl Monadnock Bldg. 
San Francisco, Cal. 



Federal Music Build- 
ing 

110 West k&th Street 
New York City, 
New York 



California, Colorado, 
Utah, Arizona, Idaho, 
New Mexico, Washington, 
Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, 
Nevada 



Maine, New Hampshire, 
Vermont, Rhode Island, 
Connecticut, Massachu- 
setts, New York State 
and New York City 



Manufacturers Exchange 
Bldg. 

232 North 11th Street 
Philadelphia, Penn. 



Lenawee Drive 
Ann Arbor, Michigan 



Pennsylvania, New Jersey, 
District of Columbia, 
Maryland, Delaware, West 
Virginia, Indiana, Ohio 
and Kentucky 



North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, 
Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, 
Illinois, Wisconsin and 
Michigan 



STATE DIRECTORS 



CALIFORNIA 

COLORADO 

FLORIDA 

ILLINOIS 

IOWA 

KENTUCKY 

LOUISIANA 

MAINE 

MASSACHUSETTS 

MICHIGAN 

MINNESOTA 

MISSISSIPPI 

NEBRASKA 

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

NEW JERSEY 
NORTH CAROLINA 
OHIO 

OKLAHOI/xA 
OREGON 

PENNSYLVANIA 
RHODE ISLAND 

TEXAS 

VIRGINIA 

WISCONSIN 



Miss Harle Jervis - 63S S. Manhattan Place, Los Angelee 
Ivan E. Miller - SIO l4th Street, Denver 
Dr. Clarence Carter Nice - Roberts Building, Jacksonville 
Mr. Joel Lay - 3^3 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago 
Mr. Willard Moore - W.P.A. Royal Union Life Bldg., Des Moines 
Miss Fanny Brandels - W.P.A. Ninth & Broadway, Louisville 
Mr. Rene Salomon - 7115 Birch Street, New Orleans 
Mr. Reginald Bonnln - W.P.A. 1^2 High Street, Portland 
Louis Cornell - W.P.A. Park Square Building, Boston 
Izler Solomon - 10^ W. Washtenaw Street, Lansing 
John J. Becker - W.P.A. Minnesota Building, St. Paul 
Miss Jerome Sage - W.P.A. Tower Building, Jackson 

Mr. Ernest Harrison - W.P.A. Union Terminal Warehouse Bldg., Lincoln 
Harry C. Whittemore - General Pro.lect Supervisor - W.P.A. 

Lincoln & Silver Streets, Manchester 
Frederick Rocke - W.P.A. IO60 Broad Street, Newark 
Earl Stapleton - W.P.A. Raleigh Building, Raleigh 
V. D. Cslilll - SO E. Chestnut Street, Columbus 
Dean Richardson - W.P.A. ^31 West Main St., Oklahoma City 
Frederick W. Ooodrich - W.P.A. Bedell Building, Portland 
John H. Baker - W.P.A. 4-6 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg 
Wasslli Leps - General Pro.lect Supervisor - 7& Weybossett St., 

Providence 

Mr. John F. Lyons - Fakes and Company, Fort Worth 

Mr. Wilfrid Pyle - W.P.A. 11 South 12th Street, Richmond 

Mr. William V. Arvold - W.P.A. 1^9 Wilson Street, Madison 



Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 



Mr. 

Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 



Page 4 



National Advisory Board 



The National Advisory Committee, comooeed of outstanding 
representatives of various fields of music activity,, has been 
formed to assist in formulating standards for examinations, and 
to give advice on methods to be piirsued in achieving the aims 
of the Federal Music Project. 



New York City 

New York City 

Pittsburgh 

New York City 

Chicago 

New York City 

Boston 

New York City 

Rochester 
San Francisco 
Fargo, North Dakota 

New York City 
New York City 
Washington, D.C. 
Richmond, Va. 
New York City 

New York City 

New York City 

Phlladelphls 

New York City 

New York City 

New York City 

Chicago 

New York City 



Dr. Walter Damrosch - Conductor and Composer 

Clin Downes - Music Critic, New York Times 

William Earhart - Supervisor of Public School Music 

Carl Engel - President, G. Schlrmer, Inc. 

Rudolph Ganz - President of Chicago Musical College 

George Gershwin - Composer 

Wallace Goodrich - Director, New England Conservatory of Music 
Dorothy Gordon - Concert Artist, Exponent of Children's Programs, 

Columbia "School of the Air" 
Dr. Howard Hanson - Director of Eastman School of Music, Composer 
Alfred Hertz - Conductor, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra 
Mrs. John Alexander Jardine - President, National Federation, 

Music Clubs 

Edward Johnson - Director General, Metropolitan Opera Company 

A. Walter Kramer - Composer, Editor Galaxy Music Publishing Co. 

Dr. Hans Klndler - Conductor, National Symphony Orchestra 

John Powell - Concert pianist, composer. Folk Festival Authority 

Madame Olga Samaroff Stokowski - Concert pianist, member of Faculty 

of Jullliard School of Music 
Carleton Sprague Smith - Director of the Music Division, New York 

Public Library 

Mrs. Frederick Stelnway - President, National Music League, Inc. 
Leopold Stokowski - Conductor, Philadelphia Orchestra 
Joseph Weber - President, American Federation of Musicians 
Paul Whlteman - Director of dance music 

Augustus D. Zansig - Director, National Recreation Association 
Frederick Stock - Conductor, Chicago Symphony 

Lawrence Tibbett - American Baritone; Member Metropolitan Opera 

Company 



Page 5 



The Federal Music Project 

The Second Preliminary Report Covering 
Its Scope and Activities During 
Its First Nine Months 



||The Federal Music Project, formed as a 
unit of the Works Progress Administration 
to employ, to retrain and rehabilitate mu- 
sicians who lost employment in the depres- 
sion, had on its rolls approximately 15,000 
individuals on June 30. On this date the 
first nine months of the project had been 
completed. As of July 1 each of the pro- 
ject units was to be rewritten for a period 
of tViree months. 

Between March 31 and June 30, 700 mu- 
sicians had left the Music Project rolls, 
to return to private employment, to instit- 
utional work or to resume teaching. 

In this nation-wide movement, inaugur- 
ated when communities recognized an irrepa- 
rable injury threatened the whole structure 
of American music, there are enrolled in- 
strumentalists, vocalists, conposers, 
teachers, copyists, arrangers and librari- 
ans, tuners and instrument repairers. These 
are the musicians who faced deterioration 
of skill, the relaxation of vital energies 
and waning morale with the loss of employ- 
ment. 

On June 30 these 15,000 musicians were 
enrolled in the following units: 

141 symphony and concert orchestras, 
absorbing 5,669. 

77 symphonic, military and concert 
bands with 2,793. 
15 chamber music ensembles. 
81 dance, theater and novelty orches- 
tras, (including Tipica, Gypsy, Hun- 
garian, Hawaiian, and Cuban Marimba 
groups) employing 2,051. 



38 choruses, quartets, and vocal en- 
sembles . 

141 teaching projects. 
24 projects for copyists, arrangers, 
librarians and binders. 

1 composers' project. 

2 vocal and instrumental soloists' 
projects . 

2 tuners and Instrument repairers' 
projects. 

11 miscellaneous (coordinating, admin- 
istrative and clerical) projects. 



The great majority of these musicians 
were on the relief rolls when the Federal 
Government moved to preserve their skills 
and to maintain their professional abili- 
ties until they were again self-sustaining. 
Only skilled musicians were eligible for 
this form of relief. Audition boards of 
non- relief musicians, formed in hundreds of 
districts about the country, passed on the 
qualifications of applicants for musical 
assignment, and while standards differed in 
various sections of the country -- as be- 
tween urban and rural regions -- there has 
been a firm insistence upon proved musical 
integrity in concert performance and educa- 
tional activities. Thousands of brilliant- 
ly trained, seasoned and experienced music- 
ians, were found amor^g the unemployed. 

In developing the program the first 
consideration of the Works Progress Admin- 
istration was whether there were needy un- 



Page 7 



employed musicians of skill in the commun- 
ity where the music program was to be pro- 
secuted. When these facts were established 
there were conferences with local sponsors 
before the project units were created. Co- 
operating sponsors include among the univ- 
ersities. Harvard, Pennsylvania, Temple, 
Minnesota, California and Southern Califor- 
nia, North Carolina, Chicago, Loyola, 
Illinois and New Mexico, through their mus- 
ic schools or other college divisions; New 
York University and the City College of 
New York, the University of Denver, Ohio 
State and Columbia. 

City Coinmissions, City Councils, 
County and Township Boards; School Dis- 
tricts and Boards of Education; recreation 
groups, Chambers of Commerce, locals of the 
Musicians Union, service clubs, fraternal 
orders and veteran organizations also are 
local cooperating sponsors. The National 
Federation of Music Clubs, with more than 
5,000 member bodies in forty- eight states, 
was among the first to assume responsibil- 
ities of cooperating sponsorship for the 
Federal Music Project program. 

Many among America's most distinguish- 
ed musicians promptly proffered their serv- 
ices in the new Federal Music Project. They 
saw in this emergency project not only a 
wise step to conserve the skills of music- 
ians but the potential building as well of 
a new body of musical appreciation in the 
nation. 

Leopold Stokowski, of the Philadelphia 
Orchestra; Frederick Stock, veteran con- 
ductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; 
Hans Kindler, of Washington's National Sym- 
phony Orchestra; Willem Van Hoogstraten, 
Henry Hadley, Arthur Fiedler, Paul Stasse- 
vitch and Rudolph Ganz, were among those 
who offered their services for rehearsals 
and concerts with the new WPA orchestras 
being organized. Others among the estab- 
lished conductors and concert artists have 
given their services to the Federal Music 
Project. Unanticipated talent also has 
been developed when many of the younger 
artists and conductors have had the chance 
"to try their wings" in public performance. 
Page 8 



A possible Indication as to how the 
interest with which other nations are 
watching America's Federal experiment in 
the arts is seen in the appearance with WPA 
orchestras of Jerzy Bajanowski, sent by Po- 
land to the United States on a musical mis- 
sion of inquiry, and Carlos Chavez, Mexi- 
co's ranking conductor and composer. Mr. 
Bajanowski has been at the desks of the 
Chicago and Omaha symphonic units, and Mr. 
Chavez conducted a series of five concerts 
with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. 

These distinguished leaders in music 
agree with the Government that it would 
have been a waste of the talents and abili- 
ties of all our musicians, the young 
artists with new conservatory diplomas and 
the faithful veterans in the cause of music 
to attempt to divert their efforts of live- 
lihood to another channel. It would have 
been unfair to them and to the nation. 

The interest and future activities of 
the musicians both on and off the Federal 
payrolls are always considered and organi- 
zation work and constructive activity to 
bring a return to the taxpayer while re- 
habilitating the musician is never lost to 
sight. The Federal policy is at no time 
to enter the competitive field. Instead, 
it is to place emphasis as a part of the 
general education through groups In welfare 
agencies, public institutions and on public 
property such as parks and playgrounds. 




MUSICIANS and the EMERGENCY 



H There was peculiar irony in the trage- 
dies that descended on the trained music- 
ians with the depression for their incomes 
had been becoming increasingly precarious 
even before 1929 with the advance of sound 
production technics. Finally there came 
the widespread separation from payrolls; 
iftusic schools reduced their faculties, the 
classes of private teachers dwindled. 

When the Federal Music Project was set 
up under WPA to retrain deteriorating 
skills, hundreds of musicians were taken 
from the labor Jobs to which they had been 
assigned they made notoriously poor 
ditch diggers and teachers were indifferent 
clerks and placed in new units for which 
their training equipped them. 

Often the musicians came to the pro- 
jects with an attitude as skeptical as that 
of the public. They felt, after all, that 
they were failures about to start fiddling 
for food, that they were adrift from the 
main current of society; that the project 
could be of no musical nor artistic import- 
ance. Their morale was lamentably low. 
There was resentment against society and 
their chief interest was in pay checks; 
many felt this was Just another contrived 
agency of work relief. 

Left to itself the program of the 
Federal Music Project might have been no 
more than that. The musicians responded 
promptly, however, when they were convinced 
that artistic standards and honest musical 
Integrity were to govern and that persons 
found to be unfitted or unequipped to earn 
a living within the skill or profession of 
a musician were to be transferred as quick- 
ly as possible. 

The musicians also responded heartily 
when they learned they were expected to 
return a value to their communities. This 
consideration from the first has been a 
guiding one with the administration of the 
Federal Music Project. The effort was in- 
tended to so engage the Interest of commun- 
ities that music would be retained or In- 

Page 9 



troduced as a part of permanent civic pro- 
grams. 

For years, up until the World War, 
America had been almost completely under 
the tonal domination of foreigners, and 
this was true despite the love for che 
songs of Stephen Foster and the music of 
MacDowell, Nevln and two or three other 
native composers. 

Until the turn of the century there 
remained in America much of the pioneer 
spirit, of land and horizon hunger, and 
there were still frontiers. Our people 
were too busy, often too emotionally oc- 
cupied with material advancement, to ccn- 
cem themselves with great music, 

■ Where Hartford Hears its Summer Concerts 





But after the Armistice there came 
a change over the American scene. Hun- 
dreds of thousands of Americans had been 
in Europe with the Expeditionary Forces 
and on that Continent they had found no- 
thing that seemed to them in anywise su- 
perior to things at home. There had been 
a general quickening throughout the spirit 
of the nation. In 1918 and in the years 
immediately following new American orches- 
tras of the first rank came into existence, 
notably those in Detroit and Cleveland; 
great festival choruses were formed; Amer- 
ican artists heard themselves on more con- 
cert programs and even the American com- 
poser was given a chance to shape his 
shadow in the new sun. 

The motion picture theaters employed 
large orchestras, some of them of very fine 
calibre, and there was splendid audience 
reaction to this music. Teaching classes 
grew. Conservatories were crowded and pri- 
vate teachers had full lesson schedules. 
America was paying hundreds of millions of 
dollars in its yearly music bill -- more, 
it was said, than all of the rest of the 
world combined. 

Then came the depression. The tech- 
nological changes in music, the sound pro- 
duction devices which furnished the cinema 
theaters with music without the expense of 
orchestra or organist, preceded the depres- 
sion by only a short space of time. Hotel 
and restaurant orchestras were reduced and 
with the onset of the depression the teach- 
ers' classes dwindled until the final means 
for sustenance was the relief roll. With 
subscription receipts diminished some of 
the traditionally famous orchestras merged, 
as did the Symphony and the Philharmonic 
Society in New York City, or disbanded or 
reduced their rosters; the Chicago and the 
Philadelphia Grand Opera Companies suspend- 
ed. Thousands of musicians suddenly were 
forced on relief. 

Without training for heavy manual lab- 
or to which many musicians were assigned 
there existed a peculiar hazard to the in- 
strumentalist in this emergency work. His 
whole career from pupil to master musician 
had been marked by the care he had taken of 
his performing hands; injury to these hands 




A Federal Music Project Orchestra Rehearsal 

might bar him forever from his profession. 
And there was the other consideration that 
the economic dislocation of the depression 
brought with it, that undermining of the 
morale, which with the musician may make 
all the difference between a lackadaisical 
performer and an authentic artist. 

Under the CWA and the FERA, projects 
for unemployed musicians had been inaugura- 
ted, but there was neither formula nor 
technic available for the vast Job of 
bringing these instrumentalists into effi- 
cient, performing organizations. This re- 
mained in a large measure the task of the 
Federal Music Project which has been wisely 
informed by the earlier experiments. 

Many of these musicians experienc- 
ed retraining and advancement of their 
skills under the Federal Projects have re- 
turned to private employment. Among them 
are men and women who are now in well paid 
preferred Jobs. From one of the project 
orchestras in New York City a violinist 
moves to the Metropolitan Opera Company 
Orchestra; another has signed a five-year 
contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra 
a former private studio teacher who had ob- 
tained all his training for group music 
teaching from the Federal Project has a 
position in charge of the musical activl- 
t ies at a large state institution. 

A senior supervisol*, known as an auth- 



Page 10 



ority on folk music, left the New York WPA 
Teaching Project to engage in research for 
a film company in Hollywood. Two others 
obtained positions with music publishing 
houses, one in editorial work and the other 
as educational director. A head teacher 
left to take a position in a normal school 
in St. Louis, and another teacher found em- 
ployment for which the project work and 
group training had prepared her --as mus- 
ical and recreational director for a hotel 
chain. 

Another placement as a result of work 
on the project is that of a concert harpist 
who has signed up at a large salary with 
one of the broadcasting companies. 

In Cincinnati the conductor of the VPA 
Orchestra has signed a contract in the 
first violin section of the Cincinnati Sym- 
phony Orchestra, and another WPA musician 



Page 11 

has been taken onto the staff of VLW, as a 
viola player. Two Cleveland violinists, 
who played with project units, have signed 
contracts with the Cleveland Orchestra. 

These are only a few of the musicians 
who retained their skills through Federal 
assistance until the opportunity for pri- 
vate employment came to them. 

Just preceding the depression Am- 
erica's bill for music, orchestras, opera 
and artist concerts, lessons and education, 
instruments, manuscripts and radio, had 
been estimated at $3,000,000,000 in one 
year. Allocations to the Federal Music 
Project, meeting all of its relief, artist- 
ic, administrative and professional needs, 
as well as its abundant services, will a- 
mount to $10,134,116 up to July 6. An add- 
itional allocation of $4,512,000 has been 
authorized for the coming three months. 



AUDIENCES 



H Approximately 20,000,000 persons have 
heard "in the flesh" concerts or performan- 
ces by the units of the Federal Music Pro- 
ject since last October. These performanc- 
es numbered 29,991 as between January 1 and 
June 30, and it is likely that were attend- 
ance figures complete, record of audience 
totals would mount by several millions. 

It was remarked in an earlier report 



that music can serve no useful social pur- 
pose unless it is heard; these figures dis- 
close that more Americans have been listen- 
ing to "living" music since the beginning 
of the program to rehabilitate unemployed 
musicians than in any previous similar 
period in the history of the nation. 

In addition to the concerts, operas, 
choral and band programs, and slnfonletta. 




4000 Hear Boston Units in Tfie Creation 



chamber and quartet recitals, there have 
been hundreds of radio broadcasts reaching 
an audience which escapes computation but 
which must be tremendously large. Over 
WNYC, New York City's municipal radio sta- 
tion, there were 1517 broadcast periods, 
and with the 103 electrical transcription 
records for distribution to smaller sta- 
tions the music of these Federally- spon- 
sored musicians has entered practically 
every corner of the country. 

Federal music units also have been 
broadcasting programs from Boston, Provi- 
dence, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Detroit 
and Omaha. 

From the regional director's reports 
spanning January 1 to June 3 audience 
figures for New Jersey alone stood at 
2,036,406, exclusive of radio listeners.. 
In New York City between October 10 and 
June 7, 1,094,642 individuals heard WPA 
music in concert, opera or other public 
performances. Attendance figures for Cal- 
ifornia from January 16 to June 29, in 
3,952 programs or performances, were 
2,291,976, and in Illinois, exclusive of 
the thousands who heard the orchestras sup- 
plied for Federal Theater vaudeville or re- 
creational services, 1,415,619 persons 
heard 1,947 concerts. 

While the weather had some contribut- 
ing effect it is noted that the audiences 
have increased in size month by month since 
the winter. In Louisiana where between 
January 11 and March 5 audience figures 
were less than 60,000 the period between 
May 28 and June 25 registered 125,995 at 
concerts and performances. 

Massachusetts figures to June 23 were 
2,099,182 and this takes into account the 
floods in the late winter when all sched- 
uled engagements in Western Massachusetts 
were cancelled. The bands and orchestras 
were sent to relief and refugee stations 
for afternoon and evening entertainment. 

In Grand Rapids, Mich., attendance 
for the first six months of the year is 
listed at 60,575 but this does not embrace 
the music appreciation and educational 
programs throughout the public and paro- 
chial school systems. By including these, 
listener' figures aggregated 162,000 up to 

Page 12 



April. 

Minnesota audiences between January 1 
and June 29 heard 813 programs with attend- 
ance of 328,030. WPA concerts in Denver, 
Colorado Springs and Pueblo registered aud- 
ience figures of 109,609. Connecticut with 
its symphony orchestras in Hartford and 
Bridgeport reported listeners numbering 
159,347. While Missouri had only two con- 
cert project units which played to 3,201 
persons in Kansas City, St. Louis and two 
CCC camps during January, attendance figur- 
es had risen until they numbered 44,636 in 
the six weeks period between May 1 and 
June 15. The WPA concert orchestra in 
Joplln began public performances in April 
supplying about 11,000 listeners to a grand 
total of 118,461 in the State for the first 
six months of the year. 

Pennsylvania attendance figures be- 
tween February 1 and June 19, including 
537,086 in Philadelphia alone, totaled 
1,536,197, and this compilation was made 
before the Philadelphia 100-piece orchestra 
and its concert band of ninety men had 
participated in events in late June before 
estimated crowds of 50,000. 

Concert units in six cities in Ohio 
were heard by 702,371; in Oregon listeners' 
figures stand at 80,180 which do not in- 
clude outdoor concerts in parks; programs 
in Nebraska between March 1 and June 20, 
principally in Omaha and Lincoln, were 
heard by 103,905 persons. The statistics 
for North Carolina are Incomplete, the first 
report of WPA concert attendance dating 
from April 26, but between that date and 
June 14 about 12,000 heard performances in 
Asheville and Durham, with another 3,000 In 
audiences when the orchestra was on tour 
late in June. 

Rhode Island, exclusive of forty- four 
radio broadcasts, but including two per- 
formances at the formal opening of the 
State Airport, reported 338,097 listeners. 
Texas figures are Incomplete but they re- 
gistered 145,619 between February aind June 
14 at 411 programs. Wisconsin audiences 
numbered 225,541 between February 15 and 
June 15, and in Florida the Miami Symphony 
Orchestra played to 96,000 persons, with 
outdoor programs early in the year. 



During the winter and Spring VPA bands 
gave frequent concerts in the concourses of 
railroad stations in Boston, New York and 
elsewhere. It is impossible to estimate 
how many persons their music reached. There 
are approximate figures, however, which are 
included in the audience totals, covering 
the occasions when Federal Music units 
played for dancing feet in institutions or 
under recreational commission auspices. 

ORCHESTRA, BAND 
ENSEMBLE ■ 

More than a score of symphony orchest- 
ras, comprising between seventy and 110 mu- 
sicians, have been created under the Feder- 
al Music Project. New York City has three 
and Boston has two orchestras of symphonic 
calibre and personnel. Philadelphia's 
Civic Orchestra employs a hundred men. 
Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oak- 
land and San Diego; Syracuse, Buffalo, 
Hartford, Bridgeport, Providence, New 
Orleans, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Tulsa, 
Minneapolis and St. Paul, Asheville, Rich- 
mond, Newark, Jacksonville and Miami, have 



Page 13 

been hearing the music of the great sym- 
phonic literature in frequent programs. 

In many other cities throughout the 
country there are concert orchestras of 
between twenty and fifty musicians. Like 
the larger symphonic bodies these orchest- 
ras have emphasized the performance of 
music by American composers. 

Fifteen chamber music ensembles, lo- 
cated principally in the larger cities, and 
ranging from the instrumental trio and 
quartet to the sinfonietta, have been heard 
in intimate "salon" programs. Because of 
the greater ease of movement these smaller 
instrumental groups have been much in de- 
mand for hospital and other institutional 
programs. They also have participated in 
the Composers' Forum Laboratory activities 
in New York, Philadelphia and Milwaukee. 

Outstanding among the symphonic con- 
tributions was the Beethoven Cycle of six 
programs in Newark in which eight of the 
nine symphonies, the principal concert! 
and overtures, were performed during the 
late Spring. Audience figures for these 
concerts aggregated 7,100 persons. A 
Brahms Cycle is to be given by the same 
orchestra in the Fall when the four sym- 
phonies, the concertl, and, perhaps, the 
Requiem, will be performed. 

Down in Barrow Street in New York City 
a Brahms Cycle consisting of six ensemble 




concerts was Inaugurated at the Greenwich 
House Music School on June 29. The "New 
Talent" series of Sunday afternoon concerts 
In which American compositions are to be 
interpreted by American conductors and art- 
ists, was started early in June by the 
Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra In the Brookljm 
Museum of Art. 

More than two- thirds of California's 
3,952 concerts in the first six months of 
the year were devoted to orchestral pro- 
grams. These Included a number of concerts 
where only the works of American composers 
were performed. 

In all sections of the country aud- 
iences have been listening to the stirring 
strains of seventy- seven WPA symphonic and 
concert bands. In Milwaukee a group of 
well- trained musicians is organized Into a 



"Little German Band" which has proved so 
popular that it has not kept up with de- 
mands for engagements. 

Tiplca Orchestras have been formed in 
San Antonio, Texas, and In several other 
cities in the Southwest and on the Pacific 
Coast, playing the romantic airs of Old 
Spain, Cuba and Colonial Mexico. In Pitts- 
burgh a Gypsy Orchestra, a group of twenty- 
two musicians, has been playing czardas and 
other music out of Hungary. Chicago has a 
large concert band of Hungarians. In all 
of these organizations fretted string in- 
struments are predominant. 

There were enrolled In eighty- one 
dance and theater orchestras on June 30, 
more than 2,000 musicians. Sixteen experts 
are working as tuners and Instrument re- 
pairers. 



OPERA, OPERETTA, CHORAL ■ 



U Grand opera which because of Its 
costliness has been out of the reach of all 
except a comparative handful of Americans 
has been presented under the WPA Federal 
Music Project to large audiences. Plans 
for the coming Fall contemplate extensions 
of this type of lyric drama. Federal or- 
chestras, artists on the soloists" pro- 
jects, large choruses which have been 
trained by Federal Project leaders, and the 
services of experienced directors, coaches 
and teachers have made it possible to pro- 
duce opera. 

In the light opera and operetta field 
the Savoy presentations of Gilbert and Sull- 
ivan have led New York's experiment in 
chamber opera began when Ernst Toch's mod- 
ernistic "The Princess on the Pea" had its 
American premiere with Weber's 125- year 
old "Abu Hassan" as a companion piece. It 
played in the Blltmore Theater for three 
weeks and plans were advanced for sending 
the chamber opera groups on the road. Per- 
formances In Bridgeport, Conn, were billed 
for early July. 

In the cantata and oratorio field some 
of the mi^ity and familiar works have been 

Page 14 



given repeated performance. Of more immed- 
iate Interest, however, has been the reviv- 
al of lesser known choral compositions. 

Seth Bingham's "Wilderness Stone" was 
heard in its world premiere on May 24 in 
the Manhattan Theater in New York City. 
This is a folk cantata, deeply American in 
quality, and it affords a musical setting 
for excerpts from Stephen Vincent Benet's 
epic poem "John Brown's Body," It was pre- 
sented with soprano, tenor and bass solo- 
ists, a narrator, a chorus of seventy and 
full symphony orchestra. Hugh Ross of the 
Schola Cantorum was the conductor. 

On June 19 the Federal Music Project 
in New York City presented opera in concert 
form in Forest Park, Queens, as an experi- 
ment. So well was this received that simi- 
lar opera concerts are to be given in all 
of the boroughs this summer. With the New 
York Civic Orchestra and a group of sixty 
singers from the artists' and choral pro- 
jects, excerpts will be performed from "Die 
Meistersinger," "Emanl," "Cavalleria Rust- 
icana," "I Pagliaccl," "Mef istofele, " and 
"Samson and Dalila." 

In Los Angeles, Offenbach's "Tales of 



Negro Chorus 
(100 voi ces) Singing 
Handel ' s The Messiah 
i n the Fi rst Bapti st 
Chu rch, Los Angel es 



m 



KKKi 



Hit 




m. 



( » ( V 



m. 

• ♦ ♦ ♦ • 

• ♦ ♦ ♦ « 



0:0 



Hoffman" drew audiences aggregating 18,000 
persons at the first four performances. 
These WPA opera forces made their bow in 
March in the Municipal Stadium at Long 
Beach. Other opera ventures in California 
include performances of "Cavalleria Rusti- 
cana" (Mascagni), in San Diego, and the 
"Merry Wives of Windsor" (Nicolai) and 
"Secrets of Suzanne" (Wolf-Ferrari). Alois 
Reiser, who directed the Los Angeles opera 
units, also was a.t the desk of the Los 
Angeles WPA Symphony Orchestra in a concert 
performance of excerpts from his own, opera 
"Is is". 

The San Bernardino units united in a 
production of Gluck's "Orpheus" in the Red- 
lands Bowl on the evening of June 26, with 
a chorus of forty, a ballet of forty- eight 
and an orchestra of fifty. 

In Boston Puccini' s "Madame Butterfly" 
and Humperdinck' s "Hansel and Gretel," 
which have already been given in concert 
form by the Commonwealth Symphony Orchestra 
and the Commonwealth Symphony Chorus, are 
to be repeated with the full dramatic in- 
vestiture. Plans for the presentation of 
Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" and Paul 
Allen's "Last of the Mohicans" have been 
under consideration. Mr. Allen, a Boston 
composer, has heard three of his operas 
presented throughout Italy but American 



audiences have not yet heard them. On 
April 8 the Boston units presented the 
third act from "Parsifal". 

Excerpts from two other grand operas 
by American composers "Zophane," by Otto 
Meuller, and "Mountain Blood," written by 
Frank Patterson after a Joseph Hergeshelmer 
novel, have had performances in Philadel- 
phia . 

Open air performances in Miami, Jack- 
sonville and Tampa, of Verdi's "Aida" with 
the Jacksonville WPA Symphony Orchestra and 
a chorus of 250 voices, trained and coached 
by project teachers, are to be given during 
the summer. Rehearsals of Verdi's "Rlgo- 
letto" also have been started. 

With Buffalo's Federally- sponsored 
Philharmonic Orchestra a full stage per- 
formance of Flotow's "Martha" was pre- 
sented in April under the sponsorship of 
the New York State Department of Education, 
the Buffalo Board of Education and the 
Adult Education Division of the WPA. 

In New Jersey, Essex County units 
which have been giving operatic excerpts 
during the last several months have plans 

Page 15 



SOME WPA CONCERT UNITS 




Grand Rapids, Kent County 



Memphis, Tennessee 



MUSIC EDUCATION GROUPS 




Children's 



1 np« YorK Ci ty 
Is Festival. Ne« 





Teaching Staff, New Hampshi 




Children's festival, Boston 





Appreciation Class, Portland, Oregon 



Six of the 69,000 Music pupils 
^ j in Mississippi 







Two Study Groups in OklahoTia anc 
(below) A piano class. New York 




Adult's Singing Class and (below) Study Group, New York 




3 





Federal Music Project Opera 
(top) San Bernardino, California 
Units in Gluck's Orpheus - (middle) 

New York Chamber Opera Groups present 
Weber's Abu Hassan and (bottom) 
Ernst Toch's Princess on the Pea 



for a season of opera comlque for the sum- 
mer. The first will be "Martha". 

Operetta projects in Connecticut, Ohio 
and Florida have proved popular with both 
musicians and audiences. The Cleveland 
unit has given twenty performances of "The 
Mikado" and is now prepared to present 
"The Chimes of Normandy". "The Pirates of 
Penzance," heard in Key Vest, is to be fol- 
lowed by "Pinafore." 

Among the choral works Mendelssohn's 
"Elijah" and "Hymn of Praise", Brahms' 
"Alto Rhapsody", Haydn's "Creation," and 
Handel's "Messiah" have been performed re- 
peatedly. The "Beatitudes" of Cesar Franck 
was sung by the Commonwealth Choral Sym- 
phony in the Boston Opera House and at 
•Harvard University. Weber's "Hymne," a 
great writing infrequently heard in recent 
years, and Gounod's "Saint Cecilia Mass" 
were sung by the same choral group, as was 
Franz Schubert's Mass in G. Mozart's "Re- 
quiem" has had three performances in Mas- 
sachusetts. 

Greig's "Sigurd Jorsalfar" was pre- 
sented in Tulsa with the WPA symphony or- 
chestra and a civic chorus. 

Schubert's Mass in A was sung by the 
Virginia State Chorus with the WPA Sym- 
phony Orchestra in Richmond as a program 
of the State Choral Festival in May. 

Nicola Montani's "Missa Festiva" and 
Guilio Silva's "Mass of the Blessed Virgin" 
have been sung twice in Philadelphia and 
once in San Francisco. An audience of 
twenty- five thousand persons heard the 
Montani work at a field mass on June 20. 

In prospect for the Fall season are 
performances of Beethoven's Ninth (choral) 
Symphony in San Diego, Calif., and Newark, 
N. J. San Diego units also contemplate per- 
formances of Bach's "Coffee Cantata" and 
Debussy's "The Blessed Damosel." 

Two New York a cappella units have re- 
gistered outstanding artistic successes. 
The Madrigal Singers, directed by Lehman 
Engel, and the Juanita Hall Melody Singers, 
the latter a Negro group, have given more 
than a hundred programs. A Negro choir of 
100 voices in Los Angeles has been singing 

the great oratorios, and in North Carolina 

a group of 200 Negro choristers under the 
Page 18 



direction of Nell Hunter has been enthu- 
siastically acclaimed. 

The seldom presented motet of Bach, 
"Jesu, meine Freude," will be sung a cap- 
pella by the Madrigal group on a vocal pro- 
gram early in July which will inaugurate a 
series of eight weekly summer concerts of 
works ranging from the pre- Bach period to 
the modern school. 



TEACHERS ■ 

H|The program created by the Federal 
Music Project for the rehabilitation and 
retraining of approximately the 1600 teach- 
ers of music now on its rolls has disclosed 
a vast and unexpected hunger for music 
among large groups of our people. The 
classes over which these VPA teachers pre- 
side enroll today literally hundreds of 
thousands of persons, divided about equally 
between adults and children. 

These teachers are leading and direct- 
ing classes for group instruction, both 
vocal and instrumental; they are presiding 
at community gatherings for talks and 
demonstrations on music appreciation, hist- 
ory and theory, and they are serving as 
conductors, instructors and coaches of 
choruses, bands and orchestras. 

Before the Federal Music Project came 
into existance it had been estimated that 
two- thirds of the 4,000,000 children in the 
143,000 rural schools in America were with- 
out music instruction in any form. Educa- 
tors had recognized for a long time that 
the old methods of teaching rural school 
music had not kept pace with other educa- 
tional trends. Through the teaching of 
music on the unprecendented scale made pos- 
sible by the Works Progress Administration 
there are being evolved new texts and tech- 
nics. 

The activities of the VPA music teach- 
er penetrate into the remotest rural com- 
munities. The teachers also are leading 
large classes in the congested areas of the 
great cities. In Minnesota, Massachusetts 
and Oklahoma the teaching programs have 



been set up on state- wide bases. 

Beyond the immediate benefits in com- 
munity organization social music activities 
enter into many phases of Individual life. 
Its influence Is found in the home, cement- 
ing family ties and deepening social in- 
terests. A more spacious form of self-ex- 
pression Is gained and the cooperative 
spirit expands in ensemble work. For the 
musician a new field of opportunity appears 
Scores of letters and statements in the 
press attest these facts. 

The community chorus of today is no 
longer only a singing school. It is more 
of a social group in which good will 
spreads rapidly throughout the neighbor- 
hood. When neighbors gather to make song, 
worries and cares are cast aside in a re- 
creational exercise. These statements are 
taken from reports of teachers and supervi- 
sors. 

Dr. James A. Mursell, Associate Pro- 
fessor of Education at Teachers College, 
Columbia University, writes: "I regard 
the work which is being carried on in New 
York City by the Music Education Division 
of the WPA Music Project as a most signifi- 
cant enterprise in both its social and mu- 
sical implications. A great new constitu- 
ency has been discovered, eager for serious 
music study, but untouched by our present 
agencies in the field. Group methods of 
teaching many phases of music are being 
successfully worked out in practice. 

"It is being established that opportun- 
ities for music study and musical activit- 
ies are an Important element in the well- 
being of large numbers of persons 

This work is making a remarkable contribu- 
tion about how music should be taught, and 
its place in the scheme of human values." 

It is a principle of the Federal Pro- 
ject that the Instructor may not enter into 
competition with a teacher who is self-sus- 
taining, and therefore the WPA teacher's 
work has been largely with persons on 
relief, with WPA workers and their fam- 
ilies, and the underprivileged. The re- 
sponse of these people has been amazing and 
heartening, particularly in areas that have 
been regarded as musically barren. 

In Mississippi, where 165 teachers are 

Page 19 



operating in forty counties, and vhere as 
early as April 1 there was a pupil enroll- 
ment of 69,640, the State Director reports: 
"In every coiranunity we have found people 
are intensely interested and that the un- 
derprivileged children and adults are eager 
to take advantage of the opportunity offer- 
ed by our classes of instruction. " 

Stories told by the teachers in the 
field amplify this statement. They relate 
how barefooted children have walked miles 
for instruction in music. In the towns the 
Negroes who are members of choruses work 
long hours on outside Jobs and their class- 
es must be scheduled as late as nine 
o'clock at night. 

Many of these WPA music teachers in 
the South were found in sewing and lunch 
room projects. They had been reluctant 
when applying for relief to report their 
qualifications as musicians because they 
felt the work program was intended for man- 
ual wage earners. 

In Minnesota, where there is a state- 
wide teaching project, fifty- one teachers 
have schedules of 304 classes a week with 
pupil enrollment Just under 4,000. A com- 
plete musical faculty has been supplied in 
the National Youth Administration residence 
school for unemployed girls where, the 
state administrator reports, music has been 
made an integral part of the curriculum. 

Taking assignments from county seats 
seventy- seven WPA teachers are serving rural 
communities in Illinois; thirty- eight are 
employed in Williamson County and nineteen 
report to the music center in Bloomington. 
Twelve preside over instruction and appre- 
ciation groups in the Decatur area. 

In Florida, teaching projects have 
been advanced in every county, and in South 
Carolina where the rural music teachers 
have been carrying their services into com- 
munities "in which children have never had 
the slightest musical opportunity," the 
need is voiced for "fifty times as many 
teachers as we have." 

"Even the few will leave their imprint 
upon the cultural life of the community for 
generations to come", a district supervisor 
reports . 

In New Mexico, where with a few ex- 
Page 20 



ceptions, there has been little musical 
Instructions in the counties, twenty- two 
WPA teachers are reaching regularly 2,000 
persons. A woman in the Albuquerque region 
'is teaching sight singing, chorus work and 
elements of music in the rural schools and 
has more than 800 children in her classes. 
One of the men teaching band and orchestra 
has 207 pupils. 

Of the musicians in Federal Music Pro- 
ject activities in Oklahoma eighty- seven 
are teachers, or band, orchestra or choral 
conductors. In Oregon, several Parent- 
Teachers' choruses have been brought under 
instruction and requisitions have been 
filed for expansion of this leadership. 

Great metropolitan centers see the 
work of the Education Division of the Fed- 
eral Music Project carried on even more 
intensively. In New York City there are 
twenty- four centers for the teaching of mu- 
sic and music appreciation available to the 
underprivileged. In addition to these 
there are 115 centers operating in conjunc- 
tion with the welfare centers, hospitals 
and schools. The majority of the 16,000 
students enrolled in the centers are em- 
ployed adults but the classes working 
through welfare agencies and crime preven- 
tion bureaus list more than 100,000 child- 
ren and young people every month. The 
lessons are always given in classes and 
every effort is made to avoid competition 
with the self-sustaining private teacher. 

Requests have been so numerous from 
all the Boroughs of the metropolitan dist- 
ricts that they cannot be filled. New 
groups are forming constantly, ranging from 
children of pre- school age to mature adults. 
Mother and father groups are numerous. Many 
unemployed or part-time employed musicians 
have been members of these New York City 
classes. 

A woman enrolled in a theory class has 
written a song which has been accepted by 
Lotte Lehmann, Metropolitan Opera prima 
donna, and others who advanced their train- 
ing and retained their skills during the 
depression have found preferred employment 
as teachers or institutional music direct- 
ors. 

Particularly interesting work has been 



done In Grand Rapids, Michigan, where mem- 
bers of the WPA Orchestra cooperate with 
school authorities in music appreciation 
activity. The aim here is to take the 
"formalism out of orchestral music by show- 
ing children its essential simplicity and 
beauty." There are no printed programs but 
the director discusses the music which 
covers a span from the "Waltz for Teenie's 
Doll" for kindergartners to the Beethoven 
symphonies for college students. Instru- 
ments are taken down and reassembled. 

Among the concert organizations many 
musicians of advanced training and exper- 
ience have been devoting part of their ser- 
vices in instructions to those less well 
equipped. In Oakland, a school of music 
within the symphony orchestra has been set 
up with regularly scheduled classes for in- 
strumental sections and choirs. 

Scores of teachers are giving musical 
instruction and are directing group units 
in CCC camps, community recreational work 
and in cooperation with the National Youth 
Administration. 

For selected teachers on the Federal 
Music Project a form of "Institute" or 
"normal school" retraining has been inaugu- 
rated to equip them as leaders or lecturers 
for community groups of "listeners." The 
course which call for eight weeks of in- 
tensive work and study with required read- 
ing has been instituted in New York City, 
Florida and California. 

A new series of lectures on the sub- 
ject of the approach to harmonic develop- 
ment has recently, been incorporated into 
the weekl.y "Institute Hour" in New York 
City. This course is largely attended as 
the teachers are eager, for every new means 

of sprBadine: the development of music. 
Harmony, diction, phrasing, tone, dynamics 

and ear training are dwelt upon with the 
object of developin Judgment in the most 
effective methods of presenting the mater- 
ial to students. This course is planned to 
continue until the end of the year. 

The world of words and music is being 
reborn for deaf and otherwise handicapped 
school children in Michigan through the co- 
operation of Federal Music Project bands 
and orchestras. Already in practical oper- 



ation in Jackson, the use of WPA units in 
training these pupils is to be extended to 
Detroit, and possibly to Lansing, Flint, 
Holland and Saginaw. 

The Jackson Board of Education has in- 
troduced into its classes for the deaf and 
hard- of -hearing a phonographic device which 
enables the pupils to hear with the aid of 
earphones and a dial for adjusting volume. 
Many of these children had never heard mu- 
sic until, as an experiment, the WPA Or- 
chestra played for them. A microphone 
rendered the music audible. 

Under strict scientific control music 
therapy classes are being conducted in 
eight New York hospitals, a training school 
for girls and a house of detention for 
women, covering approximately 6200 patients 
a month. This work was begun in the psy- 
chiatric ward for children at Bellevue Hos- 
pital. 

In the Jacksonville Memorial Hospital 
in Florida other experiments to determine 
the value of music along therapeutic lines 
are being made. These experiments also are 
under scientific control. 

In collaboration with the City College 
of New York the Federal Music Project will 
unite with the other three WPA Projects In 
presenting a six- weeks' lecture course be- 
ginning July 7. Lecturers on music >^ill 
Include Daniel Gregory Mason and Chalmers 
Clifton, of Columbia University; Dr. Ruth 
Hannas, of the Eastman School of Music, 
Rochester, N. Y., and Lillian Simpson, 
author of books on creative music for 
children. The course is designed princip- 
ally for the hundreds of students who visit 
New York for summer courses. 




Page 21 



COMPOSERS ■ 



m Encouragement for the American compos- 
er has brought to light a wealth of creat- 
ive talent that had not been foreseen when 
the Federal Music Project was set up. Mu- 
sical leaders have expressed amazement at 
the number and quality of compositions per- 
formed by these music units, and there are 
those who profess to see that long antic- 
ipated dawn when a native American music, 
as distinguished and indigenous as the mu- 
sic of France, Russia, Germany, or Seven- 
teenth and Eighteenth Century England, will 
come into being. 

A compilation and study by the Analys- 
es Unit of the Federal Music Project al- 
ready lists 622 American composers whose 
music had been performed between last Oct- 
ober and June 30. These works include 
twenty- seven symphonies by twenty- four com- 
posers which have been heard in more than 
sixty programs. The total number of Amer- 
ican Compositions played by Federal Music 
Project units within this period stood at 
1843, but many of them had been given re- 
peated performances. 



Compositions besides symphonies in- 
cluded symphonic and tone poems, concert 1 
for piano, violin, violoncello, flute and 
horn; suites and overtures; four operas, 
two contatas, smaller choral works and art 
songs; marches, suites, concert waltzes and 
descriptive pieces for bands; chamber music 
string quartets ajid trios, instrumental 
solos, and, in the field of liturgical mu- 
sic, two masses for choirs and orchestra. 

Under the Federal Music plan any per- 
son who has written a music manuscript is 
permitted to submit it to an audition board 
of recognized non-relief musicians in his 
district. Within t^e option of this board 
rests the chance o.' performance. Where the 
work has been repirded as possessing suf- 
ficient merit, ic is performed at a rehear- 
sal. This gives the composer the opportu- 
nity for change or correction. In the in- 
stance that conductor and musicians approve 
the composition after the rehearsal reading 
it is scheduled for early public perform- 
ance. 

In instances where a composition has 
proved of outstanding worth the public per- 
formance frequently gained hearing with 
units in other parts of the country. For 
instance a work scoring success in Rlchaond 
might next be performed in New York, or a 



composition enthusiastically received In 
St. Paul would be heard in Los Angeles, San 
Francisco, Philadelphia or Tulsa. Success 
In New York or Boston has meant performance 
In Detroit or Chicago. 

While certain of these composers were 
already widely recognized the majority have 
heard their compositions in first perform- 
ances within a year. More than seventy per 
cent of the compositions were played from 
manuscript. 

Symphonies of Daniel Gregory Mason, 
Henry Had ley, Howard Hanson and Edgar 
Stillraan Kelley had been known, of course, 
to symphony orchestra patrons. Ernst Bacon 
among the younger men, also had achieved 
distinction when the Pulitzer prize In mu- 
sic was awarded to him in 1933 for his Sym- 
phony in D. Composers of other symphonies, 
however, were comparatively unknown or re- 
cognized only In their own immediate local- 
ities which often afforded no instrument 
capable of performing the work. 

Victor Herbert and John Philip Sousa 
led in number of performances, naturally 

enough, but compositions of George Gersh- 
win, John Harlow Mills and Ferde Grofe 
have appeared on many programs. The "Amer- 
ican Fantasy" of Mr. Mills has been played 
eleven times by the WPA Symphony Orchestra 
In Los Angeles alone. 

Other American composers whose music 
has been repeatedly performed include John 
Alden Carpenter, Charles Wakefield Cadman, 
Frederick Converse, Charles Martin Loeff- 
ler, Deems Taylor, Chalmers Clifton, Radle 
Britain, John Powell, Hilton Rufty, Lamar 
Stringfield, John J. Becker, Quincy Porter, 
Randall Thompson, Frederick Preston Search, 
James P. Dunn, Bendetson Netzorg, Percy 
Grainger, Aaron Copland, George Crandall, 
Mabel Daniels, Charles T. Griffes, Jacob 
Weinberg, Louise Ayres Gamett, Henry 
Holden Huss, Jerome Baura Gressett, Bernard 
Rogers, Lehman Engel, Oley Speaks, Douglas 
Moore, and from the musical comedy field, 
Sigmund Romberg, Jerome Kern, Rudolf Frlml 
and Irving Berlin. 




COMPOSERS' FORUM 
LABORATORY 

Of Inestimable value to the American 
composer are the Composers* Forum Labora- 
tories which were created as an extracur- 
ricula activity of the Educational Div- 
ision of the Federal Music Project. Since 
its inception in New York City In October, 
1935, when the compositions of Roy Harris 
were performed, the Forums have given pub- 
lic performances to more than sixty compos- 
ers in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, 
Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, and in 
Florida and California. 

The principal aim of the Forum Labora- 
tories is to give the public a wide per- 
spective of the work of each composer. The 
director of the New York Forum declared 
that "here music expressive of every ^hade 
of thought and feeling peculiar to this mo- 
ment in history will have a hearing. We 
shall consider every type of music written 
by competent musicians." The purpose of 
the Forums also is to provide an opportu- 
nity for serious composers residing in 
America, both known and unknown, to hear 
their own compositions, and to test aud- 
ience reactions. 

The opportunity for the composer be- 
fore these Forums to amend his works is an 
unique one. Following the program he is 
exposed to questions directed to him from 
his audience. These are often searching 
and generally intelligent, concerning them- 
selves with his methods and mathematics, 
his emotional intentions and esthetic per- 
suasions. 

The New York series closed on June 24 
with its thirty- second program, to be re- 
sumed in September. It has experienced the 
performances of twenty string quartets, 
three piano quintets, twenty- three varied 
chamber music compositions, seven instru- 
mental trios, sixty- seven piano works, 
a series of songs with string quartet 
lng;3 seven works for two pianos, 

ten works for violin, eighty- one songs with 



Page 23 



piano, eight works for orchestra, and four 
songs with orchestral accompaniment. 

The Philadelphia Forum and the Minne- 
apolis-St. Paul Forum at the University of 
Minnesota, on several occasions have made 
use of the full symphony orchestras for the 
laboratory auditions, although more intim- 
ate programs have been held for chamber mu- 
sic. Approximately fifty manuscripts have 
been approved in Philadelphia for Forum 
performance in the Autumn. 

The Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit and 



the Florida Forums confined themselves more 
directly with musicians resident in their 
States. The Forum Laboratory in Boston has 
examined more than a hundred scores but its 
public work probably will not be started 
until September. With the beginning of the 
Fall season, creation of Composer's Forum 
Laboratories are contemplated in Los Angel- 
es, San Francisco and Oakland; Cleveland, 
Cincinnati and Toledo; Portland, Oregon; 
New Orleans, Denver, Tulsa and Jackson, 
Mississippi. 



COPYISTS, ARRANGERS, LIBRARIANS 



B Music lending libraries, operated gen- 
erally in connection with public libraries, 
schools and colleges, now have large col- 
lections of music folios for the use of 
students and musical groups in their com- 
munities. Four hundred and twelve copyists 
and arrangers working on twenty- four VPA 
projects have supplied this music. 

The Federal Music Project has witness- 
ed the rise of a vast new interest in mu- 
sic. Uner the direction and instruction of 
WPA teachers new choruses and instrumental 
groups have been formed in all parts of the 
country. Among existing groups, such as 
Mothers' Choruses and Parent- Teachers ' 
singing organizations, expert directing and 
coaching has been made available. 

For these organizations the lending 
music libraries are performing direct serv- 
ices. The copyists and arrangers trans- 
cribe, transpose, stencil and proof-read 
copies of compositions on which copy-rights 
have expired or of manuscript works. There 
also have been scores and transcriptions of 
vernacular folk songs such as those made by 
the Kentucky project in Ashland, the River 
songs of the Bayou country in Mississippi, 
andthe Mexican and Spanish music of early 
California and Texas. 

In Los Angeles seventy musicians have 
been employed on the WPA arrangers' pro - 

Ject.They are divided into three depart- 
Page 24 



ments the music preparation department, 
the photo -reproduction department and the 
inter- exchange music library. In a single 
week in June more that 10,000 pages of mu- 
sic were reproduced for the choral and in- 
strumental division. In San Francisco 
twenty- five copyists and arrangers are en- 
gaged with similar scores. 

In Michigan there are fifty- nine mu- 
sicians on copying projects and when their 
work is completed the State will be in pos- 
session of the scores of many of the stand- 
ard symphonies which will be available for 
music units in colleges and schools. Parts 
have been copied from the conductor's scores. 

These Michigan workers are divided be- 
tween Detroit and Grand Rapids with forty- 
two working in the latter city. 

■ Copyist's Project, Denver 





Copy I st Proj ects 



(above) Mi Iwaukee 
(and below) 

Phi I adelphia 




The VPA music copying project in Min- 
nesota has been organized on a state-wide 
basis and employs sixteen persons. 

Fifty- four copyists, arrangers and 
librarians are at work in New Jersey, in 
the Camden and Newark public libraries and 
in Paterson. Opera scores have been copied 
and calls for librettists and translators 
have been so numerous it has been impossib- 
le to obtain the qualified persons from the 
relief rolls. 

Of the forty-nine copyists, arrangers 
and librarians in the New York City Project 
seven have been assigned to the drama music 
units. In April alone this little group 
copied 1650 master pages. The library of 
the Federal Music Project in New York has 
assembled an extensive collection of manu- 
scripts. 

Forty- two persons of whom thirty- two 
are copyists, two are binders and one is a 
blue-printe^ have been working since Octo- 
ber 28 in the Philadelphia Free Library. 
Up to June 29, 110 complete works have been 
copied. Work is progressing on sixty- seven 
others and in previous projects 118 had 
been transcribed, making a total of 38,490 
pages written for scores and parts. These 
represent 137 composers. Binders have put 

Page 25 



into permanent form 145 scores and 279 
parts. String parts duplicated number 
27,844. All of these are works of contemp- 
orary American composers. Total hours of 
work on June 29 numbered 29,898, which 
means a grand average per page of about 
fifty- three minutes. Each page of this 
manuscript is double checked. 

In Akron, Ohio, where the difficult 
combinations of instruments in the early 
band ventures necessitated a large number 
of special arrangements, eleven persons 
were assigned for this particular purpose. 
In Columbus a unit of thirty- one, besides 
copying and transcribing band and orchest- 
ral scores is working under the sponsorship 
of the Columbus Civic Opera Association 
copying operatic music available for its 
patrons. The unit also has done copy work 
for the Department of Music at Ohio State 
University. Fourteen persons are employed 
on a copying and binding project for the 
Cincinnati WPA units. 

In Milwaukee fifty- two copyists and 
arrangers had written 2,874 master copies 
from which 16,458 pages were drawn up to 



May 31. Other copyists' and arrangers' 
projects in Wisconsin are operating in 
Kiel and Madison. 

One arranger- supervisor and eleven 
copyists are at work in Denver where man- 
uscript copies cLTe made for all of the 
Colorado Federal Music Project units. 
Twenty arrangers and copyists are engaged 
in Chicago; two in New Orleans; three in 
Baltimore, where they have transcribed 
copies of musically historic manuscripts; 
six librarians and copyists are employed 
by the project in Buffalo, N. Y., and two 
in Texas. 

At the Congressional Library in 
Washington copyist^ have been assigned to 
perform a valuab" e work with rare manu- 
scripts in its possession. In some in- 
stances parts of scores are missing. 
These are to be restored after careful 
study. In others the parts of single 
scores are to be developed for chamber 
and orchestral groups. The work of these 
expert transcribers is to be submitted 
for review, audition and final approval 
to a committee of distinguished musicians. 



FESTIVALS -NATIONAL MUSIC WEEK 



H The services of more than 7,000 'WPA 
musicians were enlisted in Spring music 
festivals and in the national observance 
of Music Week, May 3-10. The programs 
to a record degree were devoted to the 
music of American composers. 

In New York City the whole line of 
American music from the early 18th century 
to the present was exemplified in nine 
concerts by more than a thousand Federal 
Music Project instrumentalists and singers. 
At one program a pageant was given to the 
accompaniment of American music dating from 
the pre-Revolutionary period up to and in- 
cluding the Civil War. Guest conductors 
with the orchestras included Dr. Nikolai 
Sokoloff, Director of the Federal Music 
Project; Philip James, Howard Hanson, 
Jacques Gordon and Chalmers Clifton. 

The annual Virginia State Choral Fes- 
tival held in Richmond, April 30, May 1-2, 
Page 26 



filled two entire programs with native 
compositions, the first for string en- 
sembles and the second for the symphony or- 
chestra. A third program presented Virgin- 
ia mountain songs and folk tunes. Five 
hundred singers, trained throughout the 
State by WPA leaders, presented Schubert's 
Mass in A with Richmond's WPA Symphony Or- 
chestra. 

Enlisting all of its WPA concert 
units, California observed National Music 
Week with festivals in every section of the 
State. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, 
Oakland, San Jose and San Diego elaborate 
programs devoted separate evenings to Amer- 
ican music. In daylight hours there were 
"open" rehearsals for the public. 

At the annual ten-day Garden Pilgrim- 
age and Pageant in Vicksburg, Miss.," a 
principal attraction was a chorus of 500 
Negroes who sang on the levee each night 




Little Mountain Minstrels at 



Folk Music Festival, Ashland, Kentucky 

preceeding the "Showboat" program on the 
river. The chorus was trained by a Negro 
teacher of the Federal Music Project. 
Throughout Mississippi WPA choruses had led 
in the community singing of Easter carols. 
There also was state-wide observgmce of 
National Hisic Week with programs In theat- 
ers and schools. 

In Florida where the WPA teachers 
have set up groups in sixty- seven counties 
there was an open-air performance of 
Verdi's "Aida" on Easter Monday in Miami. 

Special programs, some of them elabor- 
ate and all of them emphasizing American 
music, were given in Massachusetts, Maine, 
Illinois and Michigan, during Music Week. 

The State Music Festival in Minnesota 
using the WPA organizations, was held May 
13 - 19 with alternate performances in 
Minneapolis and St. Paul. In the two sym- 
pTfohy orchestra programs only music by 
American composers was played. National 
Music Week was observed generally through- 
out New Jersey with special programs by 
bands, orchestras and choral groups, and 
with the first concert of the Beethoven 
Cycle of six programs heard in Newark in 
mid-week. 

In Texas, a folk festival and pag- 
eant, "Texas Under Six Flags", at the 
T.C.U. Stadium in Fort Worth, introduced a 
chorus of 1500 voices in songs depicting 
Texas historically. The "pioneer" group 
included among other early songs, "Will 
You Come to the Bower" which was sung by 
Qeneral Sam Houston's soldiers at the Bat- 
tle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. 

On June 14 several thousand persons 
gathered in the woods near Ashland, 
Kentucky, for the Sixth Annual Folk Song 



Festival in which thirty- one musicians, 
charged by the Federal Mislc Project with 
preserving their vernacular music, parti- 
c ipated . 

On June 4 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 
WPA singing groups, sponsored by the League 
Of United Latin- American Citizens, present- 
ed another type of folk song- the "Romances" 
"Decimas", "Quandos" and "Corridos" which 
had their origin in Spain and Mexico, and 
which are being preserved as a part of the 
Hispanic culture of the Southwest. 

There is in preparation a festival of 
the music of historic interest at Monterey 
and Carmel. Efforts are being made to col- 
lect and arrange Spanish and Mexican airs 
of the Colonial days of California and an 
authority on Gregorian chants will teach 
the choruses to sing the ancient songs as 
they were heard in the Missions. 

A "Festival of Nations" in which WPA 
music units participated in more than forty 
counties of Pennsylvania brought the music 
of forty-seven nationalities resident in 
that state before the public. The various 
programs were given during May and June. 

The North Carolina State Festival 
centering in Asheville on June 8-10, wit- 
nessed the performance of American compos- 
itions by the WPA Symphony Orchestra, and 
in Manchester, N. H., a state festival 
utilized the WPA orchestra and band on June 
23 - 24, with several established musical 
organizations cooperating. A massed chorus 
was composed of 1,000 singers. 

In widely separated regions the Easter 
dawn was greeted with the music of chorist- 
ers and instrumentalists enrolled in the 
Federal Music Project Cooperating with 
church councils and with civic organiza- 
tions their music was heard on seashore 
and mountain, in stadiums and cathedrals. 

TVenty thousand persons heard a sym- 
phony orchestra and 250 singers from the 
Los Angeles Project at a sunrise service in 
Hollywood Bowl; a choir of brasses from the 
WPA Symphonic Band of Portland addressed 
the dawn from Oregon's towering Mount Tab- 
or, and at Miami a hundred Negro singers 
raised their voices in Easter hymns as the 
rising sun threw its first ladder of light 
across the sea. 

Page 27 



summer seasons were started in June with 



A^^-N-KT^T-iT-ipnr^ Talent" series on Sunday after- 

SU]y[!M[£jI^ CON CERTS noons in the Brooklyn Museum of Art by the 

Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. In these pro- 



IP The Federal Niislc Project moves into 
its summer season with regularly scheduled 
outdoor orchestral concerts in more than 
thirty cities, and with an expanded program 
sponsored by recreational or municipal 
authorities for its dance and concert 
bands. The opportunity afforded by these 
summer series for native conductors, com- 
posers and artists is incalculable in its 
promise. 

On the Pacific Coast the two VPA sym- 
phony orchestras in Los Angeles County will 
appear in alternate concerts in the Grif- 
fith Park Stadium. In Long Beach, the Los 
Angeles County units will play at Bixby 
Park on the bluff overlooking the sea. In 
San Francisco there will be weekly symphony 
concerts in the War Memorial Building in 
the Civic Center with other performances in 
the Greek Theater at Berkeley, and in San 
Diego the WPA orchestra will give concerts 
and accompany operetta groups. In San 
Bernardino the first of thirteen outdoor 
symphony concerts is scheduled for July 1. 
Ten will be given in the Greek Bowl at San 
Bernardino Junior College with the College 
and the Chamber of Commerce as cooperating 
sponsors, with the other programs in the 
Lark Ellen Echo Bowl at Covina. 

Oakland units plan a three-day festi - 
al at the Greek Theater at Berkeley with 
one concert devoted to symphonic music, one 
to oratorios and the third to operatic se- 
lections, under the sponsorship of the 
University of California Committee of Mu- 
sic and Drama. In San Jose the symphony 
orchestra and the Bohemian Band, alternat- 
ing with the Tipica Orchestra, will give 
promenade concerts in the city parks each 
week. 

Other regularly scheduled programs in 
California include those at Stockton, Burl- 
ingame, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Barbara and 
at Santa Ana. In some of these cities 
Music Project dance orchestras will play 
for dancing in the streets and parks. 

In the East and the Middle Vest the 
Pace 28 



grams American compositions chosen by an 
audition board from about fifty submitted 
manuscripts will be performed; young con- 
ductors will be given a chance to hold the 
baton, and native artists will be selected, 
by the same audition group of distinguished 
musicians, as the program soloists. 

Other orchestral and band units will 
give programs in the parks of New York 
City's five boroughs, including a series of 
opera in concert form with soloists and a 
chorus of sixty voices. A gala all- 
Tschalkowsky program enlisting the 210 mu- 
sicians of the Brooklyn, the Civic and the 
Knickerbocker Symphony Orchestras, and a 
symphonic band of 75, will be given in 
Madison Square Garden on July 29. The 
Overture "1812" is to be performed with the 
great orchestra, a brass band and artillery. 
It was so written originally for field per- 
formance. 

Boston will hear many sjnmphony con- 
certs, a series of them in the Stadium at 
Harvard University, by the three symphonic 
units of the Federal Music Project in that 
city, and Philadelphia's 100-man federal 
orchestra, under the sponsorship of the 

University of Pennsylvania and Ten5)le Univ- 
ersity, has a long series of concerts, with 
soloists and ballets, scheduled. Weekly 
promenade concerts will be heard in old 
Mercantile Hall. The Penn and Sylvan ia 
concert bands have been merged for the sum- 
mer concerts in the Philadelphia area. 




Chicago's major WPA music unit, the 
Illinois Symphony Orchestra, is to give a 
series of concerts at the University of 
Chicago and Loyola University, and at the 
University of Illinois during a statewide 
tour, and in public parks. The St. Paul 
and Minneapolis Symphony Orchestras have 
been combined for the summer season for 
concerts in the Northrup Memorial Auditor- 
ium at the University of Minnesota. 

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, co- 
operating with the Music School of Syracuse 
University, plans a series of campus con- 
certs devoted to American composers, and 
summer symphony concerts by the Buffalo 
Philharmonic, the Hartford Symphony and 
the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestras, also 
will give prominence to the work of native 
musicians. 

Twilight concerts are to be presented 
at Denver University by the Denver WPA or- 
chestra, and in Skelly Stadium in Tulsa 
by the Federally- sponsord Tulsa Symphony 
Orchestra. Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake 
City, Utah, and Miami, Jacksonville, and 
Tampa, Florida, also will have regu larly 
scheduled outdoor programs during the sum- 
mer. 

The recreational authorities In 
Detroit have offered Belle Isle for the 
WPA Symphony Orchestra concerts in August, 
and in Grand Rapids City officials have 
built two orchestral shells for summer pro- 
grams by the Federal units there. Summer 
schedules also are planned in Jackson, 
Lansing and Iron Mountain, Michigan. Omaha 
and New Orleans have entered a summer con- 
cert series. 

Emphasis in all of these concerts will 
be placed on the presentation of American 
compositions. 




RECORDINGS 



H The music of Federal Music Project 
symphony and concert orchestras, concert 
bands. Madrigal singers and Negro choruses, 
instrumental ensembles, quartets and dance 
bands, as it is heard in the larger cities 
has been made available for the entire 
country by means of 103 fifteen-minute elec- 
trical transcription recordings. These are 
to be broadcast from approximately 460 
radio stations. The schedules which start- 
ed in April provide for 49,440 broadcasts. 

A determining purpose in making these 
records was to afford a means by which per- 
sons in the more remote areas of the count- 
ry to whom concerts by the large units were 
not accessable might share in this music. 

While the Federal I%sic Project had 
not anticipated such result when the re- 
cordings were started in New York and Cal- 
ifornia, it was gratified to learn that the 
excellence of the recorded performances 
brought inquiries leading to regular em- 
ployment for musicians on radio programs. 

The director of the Federal Music Pro- 
ject conducted the perfomances for a numb- 
er of the symphonic records and maintained 
a complete supervision over all of the re- 
cordings. Hie 103 discs carry 400 separate 
musical numbers - movements from the great 
8yii5)honies, tone poems, marches, overtures, 
ballets; marches, waltzes and suites for 
bands; spirituals by the Juanita Hall >felo- 
dy Singers In New York and the Los Angeles 
Negro Choir; ballads, roundelays and mad- 
rigals by the Madrigal Singers in New York 
and more than a score of dance recordings. 

These records also will be available 
for use In township and rural schools, for 
musical instruction and appreciation class- 
es in districts which cannot meet the ex- 
pense of concerts by the privately estab- 
lished sjnnphony orchestras or bands, and 
for community groups assembled for musical 
study. 

After the discs have been withdrawn 
from public use it has been proposed they 
be preserved anrong Oovemmental archives to 
constitute an historic tonal record of the 

Page 29 



musical organizations brought into being by 
the Works Progress Administration. 

A series of other records, for the 
folk music collection of the Library of 
Congress, have been made by the sixty mu- 
sicians of the Tipica Orchestra in San 
Antonio, preserving the early Mexican songs 
and dance tunes of the Texas border; and by 
a smaller unit, recording early Plains 
songs. Although VPA music units were used 
for these Texas records, the expense was 
met by other parties interested in the pre- 
servation of the early music of the North 
American continent. 



ADMISSIONS 



■i The Dolicv of char-^iner admissions for 
major performances in the larger cities was 
adopted in March on the representations of 
the musicians themselves. They professed 
to "see a hazard in their professional fut- 
ure in too large a number of free concerts". 
"Audiences", they averred, "whether compos- 
ed of the relief population or others would 
develop a reluctance to pay when Federal 
assistance was no longer available if music 
was made always free." 

The building up of "local music on be- 
half of local musicians" has become impera- 
tive since the advent of mechanized music, 
they say. 

It was made clear, however, that there 
would be provision always during the life 
of the project for those on relief and for 
the underprivileged to hear worthy music. 

With orchestras of symphonic calibre 
giving dozens of concerts a week and with 
opera being made increasingly available in 
many communities, the policy of admissions 
was put into effect. Prices have ranged 
from 5 to 75 cents a ticket. 

The office of agent- cashier was creat- 
ed to take charge of all admission receipts 
The receipts are deposited in the nearest 
Federal Reserve Bank to the credit of the 
United States Treasury. 

Page 30 




All of this music belongs to the 
nation. Whether it presages the creation 
of a public and an audience; whether it is 
establishing the groundwork for a native 
musical tradition, rests with the future. 
Certainly it has disclosed a desire for 
music and a creative musical talent that 
has not been anticipated when the Federal 
Music Project came into existence. 

A distinguished musical scholar in a 
recent public statement; declared that the 
future historian writing of American cult- 
ure would find the years 19 35 - 1936 as 
among the most important in the record of 
the modern world. 




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